MANILA, Philippines - The Far Eastern U Tamaraws expect to remain competitive in 2014 despite the decision of Season 76 MVP Terrence Romeo to forego his fifth playing year and join the PBA rookie draft next month.
But it will take a concerted effort from the holdovers and new recruits to fill in the huge void left by Romeo, according to coach Nash Racela and FEU athletic director Mark Molina.
“That’s college basketball. Can’t hold them back. He’s a big loss but somebody has to step forward and be ready for the challenge. We will address it collectively,” Racela said.
“You don’t replace an MVP but I’m sure coach Nash will mold a competitive team that FEU will be proud of,” said Molina.
Romeo’s departure leaves FEU wanting in firepower as the Tams had already lost 2010 MVP and fellow PBA aspirant RR Garcia and Gryann Mendoza to graduation at the end of the season, which saw the squad finish third.
Romeo was the UAAP’s top player in scoring (21.7 points) and field goal percentage (64.4 percent) this season and accounted for 5.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.6 steal in 16 games for FEU while Garcia was good for averages of 12.8 markers, 3.9 boards and one steal.
With the two gone, the third member of their fearsome backcourt trio – Mike Tolomia – is expected to carry the brunt with help from the likes of Mac Belo, Roger Pogoy, Carl Bryan Cruz and ACL-hit Russel Escoto.